Man from Tulalip Tribes pleads not guilty to new gun charges

Raymond Lee Fryberg at the federal courthouse in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Craig Newcomb / KOMO / Twitter

Raymond Lee Fryberg Jr., a member of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, pleaded not guilty to new firearms charges in connection with a case that has highlighted gaps in the justice system in Indian Country.

Fryberg was originally indicted in April on one charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. Federal authorities at the time said he purchased a gun despite being under a domestic violence order of protection in tribal court.

The new indictment now includes a total of six charges. They stem from repeated trips to Cabela’s, a privately-owned company with a location on the reservation, in which Fryberg purchased a slew of weapons.

One of those guns was used by Fryberg's son in a shooting at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School last October that claimed the lives of four young people and injured a fifth. Fryberg's son then used the gun on himself.

Fryberg has been charged under Title 18, Section 922 of the U.S. Code. Section (g) prohibits people who are the subject of domestic violence protection orders from obtaining firearms.

The law does not specifically mention tribal court orders. It merely states "a court order."

The tribal court order, however, was never entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System because tribes do not have direct access to the system. So Cabela's was unaware that Fryberg was not allowed to buy firearms.

The case has renewed calls for tribes to be able to access federal criminal database and submit information to them. The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have not fully complied with the mandate in the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.

DOJ recently solicited requests to develop "kiosks" in Indian Country that could be used to access and submit information to the databases housed by the Criminal Justice Information Services.

Get the Story:
Father of school shooter pleads not guilty to gun charges (AP 7/23)
Fryberg claims he didn’t know he couldn’t own gun used in Marsyville-Pilchuck shooting (KIRO 7/23)
Father of Marysville Pilchuck shooter faces additional weapons charges (The Everett Herald 7/18)
Father of high school shooter indicted on 5 new charges (AP 7/17)

Federal Register Notice:
National Instant Criminal Background Check System Regulation (November 20, 2014)

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